Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General
Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard
Category: Nonfiction: Biography; History

Synopsis: Explores the World War II career of General George Patton as well as his suspicious death.

Date finished: 9 October 2014

Rating: ****

Like Killing Kennedy, Killing Patton is full of history and trivia. I learned so much about World War II, its key players, its battles, and General George Patton. Killing Patton is the fourth in Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s “Killing…” series of biographies. Here, they investigate General Patton’s death and point to evidence that the accident that killed him was likely no accident at all.

Now, for most in my generation, knowing who Patton was is about as far as they could go. Who cares, really, how the general was killed? But there’s something about this story that appealed to me since the moment I heard Patton was to be the fourth in the series. Why was he killed? The war had ended, what would anyone have to gain? I don’t want to spoil things, but suffice it to say, Patton was a very outspoken man. He voiced his opinions loudly, brazenly, and frequently. He thought it was essential that Germans to be a part of the post-war reconstruction in their country. And he warned that after the war we should assume a war-like stance with the Russians. Russia was to be our next great foe. How right he was. And how very much some wanted to hush him.

But aside from Patton, his battles, and his death, the book is full of mini-biographies of other World War II personalities: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Marshall. It’s a great timeline of the war and was a welcomed refresher to me. The Battle of the Bulge was discussed, though I still don’t understand it militarily. We also learn of the way Eisenhower capitulated to our Allied-enemy Russia when taking the Rhineland and Churchill and Roosevelt’s likeminded-ness and differences of opinion when it came to what Europe would look like after the war. (Churchill was much more in line with Patton’s fears in regards to Russia.)

This one will appeal to war buffs, veterans, and those interested in history. It’s written in such a way to appeal to a mass—though not uneducated—audience.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

You might also enjoy:
Killing Kennedy

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